Perfect timing at Volcan Arenal - Day 562
Updated: Jun 10, 2019
Sadly no-one is allowed to climb Volcán Arenal, unlike Concepción in Nicaragua. Shame. Who am I kidding, as if I'd climb it! Instead, we found some beautiful trails at the bottom to walk.
We didn't get out of our Airbnb until late morning, making our packed lunch, catching up on writing, emails and booking our next accommodation. While we were in Nicaragua, we turned up at a couple of towns at night with no reservation. I know some travellers like to travel this way. Perhaps it has a sense of fun and adventure. For me, I find it inefficient, wasting time searching. Hey, my DNA has buckets load of the 'planning' gene. Mind you, I have refrained from overusing this skill during some of our travels.
We arrived at the Volcán Arenal National Park, paid our fee of US$15 each and was shown a few trails to follow. The first one was a couple of hours, perfect. The view of the Volcano was magnificent. We were so lucky.
When picking our hire car, we chatted to a couple who had just finished their trip. It rained 5/7 days, and they couldn't see the Volcano at all.
The trail was wonderfully relaxing; first through bamboo and grasses, then into the rainforest. We climbed up a steep, rocky lava track made from a recent Volcanic eruption, which gave us a clear view over the treetops with the Volcano on one side and Lake Arenal on the other side.
Back to the rainforest walk, our favourite kind of trail, slowly wandering, searching and marvelling at the interesting flora and fauna. We were not disappointed. It is amazing how the trees have evolved with their roots raised above the ground so that they have a better chance of collecting water via the humid atmosphere.
Halfway around, we found the majestic Ceibo tree that is famous here in Costa Rica. It even received an 'Exceptional Tree Award' back in 2006. I felt its magic standing between the giant buttress roots with its straight trunk towering 57m high culminating with a large umbrella canopy — what a tree.
As we reached the car, the heavens opened, so sat and ate our packed lunch. We drove to another shorter trail, arriving just as the rain ceased.
This walk was under the natural awning of palms, tree ferns and many tall trees with epiphytes (air plants) and bromeliads growing on their trunks. Long 'Tarzan' vines, many covered in moss, hung across our path and a few brightly coloured flowers were amongst the various shades of green.
We reached a metal tower used as a viewpoint just as the rain commenced again. Once climbing the three flights of stairs, we had fabulous views of a cloud covered Volcano and Lake Arenal, luckily in the dry. Wow, our third perfect timing.